My response to the White House video on this topic posted April 10th:
IF all people are equal under the rule of law and
IF all laws apply to all citizens of this nation and all residents living on this land,
Surely questions of gender fluidity, by not being excluded, have already been addressed in the Bill of Rights.
In the bigger picture, although some governments are slow to adopt United Nations declarations and often modify declarations when "adopting" them, a growing majority people in the US have not only adopted, but are implementing the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the Rights of Indigenous People, and the Rights of the Earth, called the Earth Charter.
Upholding these three not only eliminates needless debates, restores honor for all, and allows energy to be focused on urgent issues, on top of all that, applying the tried and true principles outlined in these declarations, restores the common people's trust in the purist version of the "American Dream," far too many have given up on at home and abroad.
Fact: the rights of the gender fluid are no different than any other's.
How thoroughly has society embraced that fact is not addressed in this video, nor is there a call to any practical plan of action. It does seem as though the video was created for the few, the stuck, the oppressed who "mimic the power structure of their oppressors," as Paolo Frerre suggests.
Western society has changed; the majority of Americans have accepted this reality, yet this video message is focused as though most still need convincing. In reality what our society needs are practical steps to implement that change, in schools, in neighborhood centers, in how we speak. Institutional standards have changed, school are implementing acceptance of gender fluidity, but best practices are not publicized. Fluidity in gender-less speech is awkward. Let's get practical. Let's talk shop not theory.
If I may hold the attention of the creators and editors of this video messaging style a bit further, I would like to make a few points regarding terminology and the struggle of public relations in an era of paid lobbyists versed in euphemisms. My process while watching this video may enlighten future public communications.
Limited interaction on this and other constitutionally redundant loops, leaves me unfamiliar with the term "conversion therapy." From a totally curious perspective, I first guessed the title might refer to brain washing methods posed as scientific methods invoked by religious zealots to convert lambs to their varied causes. Any controversy about such a ban or new terminology, I want to keep up with. So I chose this title.
The first voice spoke a different message and I, with furrowed brow, returned to blank slate state. Feeling a bit of hope at second thought, I gathered that the term refers to literal sexual conversions; my wheels were turning now closer to the intended direction. I listened, expecting this to be a government ban on using tax dollars for any and all sexual change surgeries or sex therapy medications for any reason other than life and death circumstances. Relieved that the White House acknowledges hard earned and grudgingly given tax dollars should not be used for imbuing self-declared "privileged" with the "right" to cosmetic or pharmaceutical-ly induced changes that ease transitions between the appearances of gender rigidity.
I will also say at this point I held at bay all irritation with the reality that many international corporations will be allowed to continue making enormous amounts of money from suffering of all kinds usually without paying their due share of taxes, and caring about the consequential ends society often has to endure when there are complications of such reversals. Still I allowed myself to settle into am overall celebration of the listening sort. At east this dialogue is happening.
All these mental gymnastics occurred just seconds into the film. Hopefully that says something about public education and the use of euphemisms, trendy as they are. Struggling further with clashing assumptions, gradually dawning as the film did not progress, only addressing emotional abuse and social pressure, not law or government responsibilities.
Now Goggling the term "conversion therapy" while listening more intently, I flashed back to my parents own stories of brain washing into a cult-ish societies of the right handed, gender rigid dominance of "Judeo-Christian" state enforced deceptions. Disheartened to be meditating on such antiquated horrors still inflicted and funded, even promoted through half heart-ed dialogue at this level of governance, I was simultaneously shocked at the limited focus of this video's message and again confused.
In general I am in awe with great appreciate at a sense of inclusion into White House conversations, live chats, town hall meetings and other webinar style developments of more democratic processes, normalized in the Obama era. Still at times I wonder if our responses are taken seriously. Are they considered by constitutional law experts, linguistics and cultural ethicists and leaders of public dialogue . . . or are they only read by social media experts, marketing strategist, psychoanalytical pollsters specializing in subconscious emotional triggers, and, of course, by a few like-minded geeky citizens. None the less, I choose to do my part as I am able.
Trusting that this process has some potential, I would like to propose developing and publicizing methodology for messaging with respect to the urgency and integrity appropriate to this season of history. Such methodology will apply to all "hot" topics, still debated in limited, but toxic circles where rights are not yet balanced with the government's nor a citizen's responsibility to protect. Such methodology will set an example of excellence in terminology, in constitutional awareness, and in ethics, as we, as a society, lean together into accuracy with intentionality. I request that funds not be used wasting time or pampering egos. We as a species are in too much danger. We must learn to live together well quickly.
I leave this discussion with gratitude toward any who have read this far, especially to those who read with honor for what Friends refer to as "plain speech," and I leave you all with a quote from Henry David Thoreau. But I leave this discussion emphasizing my a request for thrift and urgency in all messaging. I consider it frivolousness to avoid calling this what it is, wasteful to avoid naming the unconstitutionality of what is no longer acceptable, and obviously unnecessary to keep listeners "in the loop" of yet another constitutionally un-debatable issue under the pretense of decorum or diplomacy. Surgery is painful, but persecution is as cancerous, as self-designation is lawful. We are what we have become. And most have no doubt we have changed, therefore we need not "cut to the chase" in a helter-skelter way, but an intentional way.
As change is upon us, intentionality is our modus vivendi.
Effective messaging begins with what is, referring to, but not wallowing in what was. It does not delay integrity nor prolong suffering. State our living realities; be bold about their efficacy. Waste not, want not as the old timer's would say, for time is a tickin'.
"For every thousand hacking at the leaves of injustice,
there is only one striking a the root." H.D. Thoreau
Be the One.
Ghost Writer, Civil Rights Advocate & Mother of Many